DNS queries (calculated on a monthly basis) are essentially *hits* to our name servers for your domain. A number of factors dictate how many queries you can expect. For example, how many other DNS servers cache the retrieved records. This is also dictated by the TTL (time to live) setting you have specified as well. For example, if your TTL is set to 60 seconds, other DNS servers are only permitted to cache an answer they receive for 60 seconds. This gives you the advantage of being able to change your DNS quickly (which is often desired for rapid failover), however it drastically increases the number of requests that our DNS servers must answer. Therefore, a higher TTL will drastically reduce the number of queries since ISPs and other organizations can cache your records and serve them directly. Of course, the negative side effect of caching is that you are unable to make a record change and expect traffic to switch over quickly.

Most customers must weigh the pros and cons for high and low TTLs and decide which provides them with the flexibility they need within their budget.

Determining queries can be difficult. However, one trick is to consider the unique hits against your website in any given day if your TTL was set to 12 hours (43,200 seconds). Of course, this does not take into consideration email or other name based traffic you may have on your domain. If your email volume is high, or you wish to have a lower TTL, you will need to adjust your numbers accordingly.

Perhaps the best way to determine queries is to actually try the service for a month. This will give you a much more accurate picture. If the numbers are high, you can always call us to work out special pricing for your needs. And, in most cases, we’re more than willing to give customers a 30 day grace period since the query variable is often unknown.